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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Important answers on important topics

Top of the morning everyone!  I'm Donna J Jodhan at the business desk and it's time for me to open up our e-bag and pull out some of your questions.  We have been inundated with many questions in the past week and I encourage you to keep them coming.  I will try to answer as many as I can.
 
Question from Brian Allen:  What are some of the hidden things that one should look for when choosing their next long distance carrier?
Answer:  Brian, based on a lot of feedback and comments that we have received in the past from our readers, and based on my own personal experience, here are just a few tips.
1 Make sure that when they give you a flat minute rate, that you fully understand that it's just that and no more.  There is one company and I am not sure if they exist outside of Toronto Canada, that has been accused of false advertising.  They have run commercials in the past that says for example, two cents per minute to a certain country but what they did not say or conveniently failed to say is that upon initiation of the call, you are charged one dollar and that the two cents per minute only kicks in after the first minute.  So, if you make a call and leave a message for example, you are charged one dollar and not two cents for that minute. 
2 Many small long distance companies lease lines from their larger long distance competitors so that the reception that they offer to their customers is often poor and so the famous saying that says you get what you pay for applies here.  For our Canadian customers living in Toronto, the company that I am referring to is Telehop.  A company that has been accused of false advertising, offers poor customer service, and their lines are very poor as well.  Reception is often very unsatisfactory.  Many emailers have complained about Telehop in the past.
 
Question from Erin Blatt:  Donna, can you give me some ideas for the types of businesses that I could look at starting up in a small town in the US?
Answer:  Erin, sure!  Believe it or not, many of our larger corporations started off as small town businesses and the small town business idea is one of the hottest trends these days.  What you need to do is some research in your small town to determine how much of each type of business there is.  For example, how many health and beauty salons are there, how many corner groceries are there, how many business establishments are there for each type of essential service.  Next you need to take inventory of your skills and interests and determine based on your research what type of business you would like to start.  Of course, you need to choose the category with the least number of business establishments.  This should  be enough for you to get going.
 
Question from Jamie Housenberg:  I recently read that pharmaceutical companies are seeking translators to translate labels on their products and that this demand is growing.  How true is this?
Answer:  Jamie, this demand is very real and more and more pharmaceutical companies are doing their level best to ensure that the labels on their products are translated accurately.  It is extremely important for pharmaceutical companies to have their labels written and translated accurately and in addition, they are attempting to reach a wider spectrum of customers worldwide both English-speaking as well as non-English speaking and here is where the demand for translators is growing.  So, if you are presently seeking opportunities as a translator, you may want to investigate this type of opportunity.
 
Question from Brett Palmer:  I used to enjoy the news round-up for consumers with special needs every week at your website.  Now it's gone and I'm looking for other resources to get my news.  Do you know of any?
Answer:  Brett, my company Sterling Creations puts out a free monthly online magazine and we publish articles for consumers with special needs.  You can visit us at http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/magazine.html.  I do believe that plans are being made to bring back this feature as we have had many emails asking for it to be returned.
 
Question from Larry Cook:  Last week or maybe the week before you talked about the concept of riches in niches.  Do you really think that this concept is real?
Answer:  Larry, yes.  I have seen over the years where many small businesses have been able to find riches in niches and have gone on to be quite successful.  Those examples that I gave are very real and it is my belief that if you really want to start your own business, you have to start small.  Look at the big picture and dissect it in to manageable slices.  Take a small corner of a huge market and concentrate on it.  Listen to what your potential consumers are asking for.  Don't make the mistake of telling your potential consumers what they should be seeking.
 
Well, that's it for this week.  Please keep those questions coming and I will do my best to answer them.
At the business desk, I'm Donna J Jodhan wishing you a terrific day.

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